Types of dental implants, techniques & risks
1. What are dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots (similar to screws relating to shape) which are placed in the jawbone. A dental implant is a surgical component that interferes with the bone of the jaw or skull to support dental prosthesis (in medicine prosthesis is a device applied to replace a missing part of the body, such as a tooth, limb, etc. Dental or tooth prosthesis is an intraoral prosthesis inside the mouth and is applied to restore or reconstruct the intraoral defects which include missing teeth or missing part of the teeth, missing soft or hard structures of the jaw, palate, etc).
Dental implant procedure includes crown (it is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth), dental bridge (literally, the dental bridge is that which bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made of 2 or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. In this connection, it needs to be mentioned that it is very hard to maintain good oral hygiene with dental bridges. Because it needs to keep the surrounding teeth and the gums free from bacteria. In course of time if the dental bridge becomes decayed, then support is lost and the dental bridge fails), the facial prosthesis (It is an artificial device to adapt or change the convex facial structure of a person.) and denture (denture is a prosthetic device to replace missing teeth. The new teeth replacing the missing ones are known as ‘ false teeth’ which are supported by surrounding hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable).
A dental implant acts as an orthodontic anchor which allows the dentist to mount the teeth directly Into the metal post or frame that has been surgically positioned in the jaw bone. It takes about 1 hour to place a single implant. If multiple implants are required, then it may take a longer time. Dental implants are strongly designed to last for a long period (maximum 25 years) after which it is needed to be replaced.
2. What are the components of a dental implant?
- The implant root or screw: This is the part of the implant that is embedded in the jawbone and is fused with it.
- The implant abutment: The implant abutment lies above the gum line. (Abutment is used in the context of a fixed bridge, partial removable dentures, and implants. For instance, abutment teeth are the teeth that support the bridge).
- The crown dental prosthesis: The crown is often needed and used when a large oral cavity threatens dental health.
3. Cost of dental implant:
The cost of dental implant is largely influenced by the number of teeth that need to be replaced and the type of artificial teeth that will use individual cemented crown, screw-retained crown or fixed bridges, removable bridges (it is a partial denture that can be taken out to clean every day, but usually not until an adjustment period) and complete dentures stabilized by the implant.
A single implant crown may cost $ 1000--$ 3000. However, individual insurance policies determine the amount of coverage for dental implant treatment.
4. Types of dental implants and techniques:
4.1) Types: There are mainly 2 types of implants:
Type-1: Endo-steal dental implant:
These dental implants are placed in the jawbone and typically made of titanium (it is a chemical element). The dental implants are shaped like small screws. They are the most commonly used type of dental implant.
Type-2: Subperiosteal dental implant:
These dental implants are placed under the gum, but on or above the jaw bone. This type of implant may be used in the case of patients who do not have enough healthy natural jawbone and hence cannot undergo a bone augmentation to rebuild it. However, if the jawbone is not able to support the dental implant, then several techniques can be used to rebuild bone, restore the natural jawline, and provide a sturdy foundation for the implant-supported teeth. These include:
- Bone augmentation: The procedure involves restoring or regenerating bone in the jaw when it is not able to support implants, otherwise. Research study reveals that using bone additive and growth factors to fortify the bone, generally achieves the best result.
- Sinus lift (Also known as Sinus augmentation or Sinus elevation): The procedure involves adding bone below the sinus in case the natural bone deteriorates due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge Expansion: If the jaw is not wide enough to support a dental implant, then the bone graft material can be added to a small ridge or space created along the top of the jaw.
4.2) Dental implant techniques:
Depending on the health of the jaw bone and specific needs, the dental implant dentist may suggest some treatment options in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure. The options include:
4.2.1) Immediate load dental implant (Also known as a same-day implant):
The technique allows the placement of temporary teeth during the same appointment time. For dental implant placement, this may be a good option if the patient has enough natural bone and the implant is secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth. In this regard tooth implant involves the following steps:
- Step one (placing the implant):
The step involves to bury the implant in the jaw bone (via a surgical procedure.)
- Step two (placing the abutment):
In this step the abutment is a post that connects the implant to the prosthetic tooth.
- Mini dental implant (Also known as small or narrow diameter implant):
They are placed through less invasive techniques and are applied to stabilize a lower denture
- All on 4:
“All on 4“ technique is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth (called a full arch). Four dental implants are placed in the available bone avoiding the need for grafting. Special abutments are usually applied so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. Following a modified diet is needed while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with the natural bone. After about 6 months the permanent replacement teeth will be placed and the patient may resume a regular diet.
5. Risks of dental implant:
- Infection of the implant site
- Injury or damage to the surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels.
- Nerve damage may occur causing pain, numbness, or tingling in the natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin.
- Sinus problems may crop up when dental implants are placed in the upper jaw or dental implants protrude into one of the sinus cavities.
6.1) Success rate of dental implants vary widely depending on (wherein the jaw) the implants are placed. However, in general, implants have a success rate of up to 90%.
6.2) Highly precise 3D digital imaging and implant surgical planning software have made implant procedure faster and highly predictable. The dentist can apply these tools to analyze the anatomy of the jaw and determine the best sites for implant placements before surgery. This saves time and money as well as shortens recovery time.